I need some Saints.
I need some saints to take along with me on the Camino. I’m familiar with neither the saints nor the Camino and I want someone who can relate to what I’m thinking and going through on my pilgrimage to the Cathedral of St. James, Santiago, in Campostella. But I also think it will be a good idea to have someone to talk to in these next few weeks leading up to my departure.
Heaven knows, DH has been with me every step of the way (at least, from the time I told him about my plans) and has been extremely supportive. But I am sure he is getting tired of my obsessive focus on this trip. Although other things in life happen, this has become number one for me, my primary topic of conversation. Enough, already, I’m sure he occasionally says to himself.
Friends, those that have an inkling of what I’m preparing for, have also been really nice and excited for me. Most don’t get the reasoning behind it – how could they, I don’t get it myself – but are at least willing to humor me.
But I know from those many quiet miles of training, when monotony has set in, that it would be nice to have someone else to talk to. I think of myself – my feet, my back, my shoulders, my thirst. And I don’t want to be so self-absorbed. I want a companion to get my mind off me and keep it on the task at hand, along with the bigger picture (whatever that may be).
Who could be better than a Saint?
It wouldn’t have to be an “official” Saint. In the Catholic Church, there are “steps” one takes on the way to sainthood. Sainthood is definitely not granted lightly. First, one has to be recognized as a Servant of God (Venerable), then declared Blessed, and finally, Canonized as a Saint. I’d be happy with anyone who is on the way.
But I’ve been influenced by the book by James Martin, SJ (Society of Jesus, in other words, Jesuit priest), in his 2006 best-selling book, “My Life With The Saints.” His favorites are not simply people listed in the New Testament or noted by the Church, but real people and true Catholic leaders who inspire him and lead by example. His list includes:
Joan of Arc
The Ugandan Martyrs
Therese of Lisieux
Ignatius of Loyola
Pope John XXIII
His list tells me that I can be selective.
The Church says that saints can be Patrons or Companions. Therefore, for this trip, I am looking for companions. Here are the job requirements:
- Can be male or female
- Must have a good sense of humor and know how to enjoy life/laugh alot
- Must be willing to see life as it really is, not only as it should be, and be pleased with it anyway – “Debbie Downers” need not apply.
- Should have done some writing or had some newspaper articles written about him/her so that I can find out about him/her directly.
- Must like to travel
- Should be willing to pull own weight when required and be able to pull my weight when I give up.
- Some kind of superpowers over illness, injury, and bedbugs a definite plus.
- Special ability to stay on track in spite of distractions, diversions, and confusion helpful.
- Must be able to not lose cool in intense situations (like when the ATM doesn’t work, there are no beds available, or hiking poles disappear)
- If needed, must be willing to become companion for life . . . maybe longer!
I hope I’m not being too fussy but a boon companion or two will come in handy. I’m starting to put together my final packing list and I don’t want to leave anything important out. I feel that having a saint or two with me will help me discover the meaning of a pilgrimage.
If you know of any saints who might fit the bill, please write in the comments box below and I shall look over their application with due diligence.
Thank you for you assistance.